‘Sizzles’ of Weird

January 6, 2017

Dark-thirty already this early Friday evening on California’s north coast, looming overcast the preview of some supposedly wet rainstorms this weekend — yes, ‘storms,’ as in plural, more-than-one, the first tomorrow night, the others coming Sunday..
And the cycles mostly of the ‘atmospheric river’ variety, i.e., continuous heavy rain and gusty winds. These southern systems carry warmer temperatures, though, which is a plus.

Usually, I post in the mornings, but today has been such an internally-odd one, and any form of state-of-writing never really generated itself, so this late bit. Old age in the age of anxiety makes one think.
This getting old with all its ruminations on the life-narrative is coupled with outside reality — a way-more freakish place than even my own brain, itself a buffoon-bottomless-pit of weird.

(Illustration: Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Old Man in Sorrow (On the Threshold of Eternity)‘ found here).

In the context of weird, the haunting-becoming-natural of the shooting today at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., airport, and the chaotic-childish antics of T-Rump, a coupling well inside The Twilight Zone.
The airport incident a surreal scene weirdly-transposed from similar/now-familiar scenes from airports all across the globe, forcing a nightmare onto Americans. Violent, and odd this particular story.

And T-Rump? Totally-surreal, well-more-than-average weird, and in a couple of weeks will be supposedly the most-powerful one-person on the planet. Twitter was invented for this twit.
Worse even still, he’s aided/abetted/encouraged by got-to-be the most-heartless, arrogant and hugely-incompetent group of assholes in the world — Republicans.
Hence, Pinhead’s truthiness of expression: ‘Or as they say in Ebonics, “We be fucked.”

And to the weird being fucked, comes news from way-off of our little planet — seems astronomers have explained there’s more to Fast Radio Bursts (FRB) than just flickers of light way-out in deep space, maybe like 3 billion light-years away. And one FRB in particular, named FRB 121102. Origins becoming less a mystery, yet still a weird fantasy.
Via the BBC on Wednesday:

Outlining their work at a major conference, astronomers say they have now traced the source of one of these bursts to a different galaxy.
It’s an important step to finally solving the mystery, which has spawned a variety of different possible explanations, from black holes to extra-terrestrial intelligence.
The first FRB was discovered in 2007, in archived data from the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia.
Astronomers were searching for new examples of magnetised neutron stars called pulsars, but found a new phenomenon — a radio burst from 2001.
Since then, 18 FRBs — also referred to as “flashes” or “sizzles” — have been found in total.
“I don’t exaggerate when I say there are more theories for what these could be than there are observed bursts,” first author of the new study, Shami Chatterjee, told the BBC’s Science in Action programme.

“When we reported last year that one of these objects was repeating, that — in one go — knocked out about half of those models, because for this one source, at least, we knew it couldn’t be explosive. It had to be something where the engine that produced this survived for the next flash.”
In 83 hours of observing time over six months in 2016, the VLA detected nine bursts from FRB 121102.

“This persistent radio source could be an active galactic nucleus (AGN) at the centre of a galaxy that’s feeding (consuming matter from its surroundings), sending out jets, and these sizzles we see are little bits of plasma being vaporised in the jets,” said Dr Chatterjee.
“That’s not the interpretation we favour. The one we favour is that maybe it’s a baby magnetar — a neutron star with a massive magnetic field — and it’s got a nebula surrounding it that’s powered by the energy being lost by this object. Every once in a while, we’re getting a flash from this baby magnetar.”
Prof Heino Falcke, who had investigated FRBs, but was not involved in the latest study said that, even without a clear answer, the new findings were a “game changer.”
But he admitted several features associated with FRB 121102 remained mystifying.
He agreed that some features of the radio source resembled those associated with large black holes.
But he said these were typically found only in large galaxies.
He told BBC News: “Why is this spectacular FRB in such a little, very innocent looking galaxy? There are many things coming together which don’t make much sense yet.”

Welcome to the T-Rump-infectious weird…even from a galaxy far, far away, and long, long ago.

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